A bottle of Aberfeldy 12 shown outweighing a nugget of gold. A promotional item from the stand.

Review: Aberfeldy 12

When I visited the Whisky in Leiden festival I tried a lot of whiskies to see if the dram could convince me to buy the bottle someday. But I also wanted to try some whiskies that I frequently see in the store, but have never felt compelled to buy. Just to see what they’re like, because who knows… perhaps it will surprise me. Aberfeldy 12 was one of those drams. It has won a plethora of awards, but it never spoke to me.

Tasting Notes: Aberfeldy 12


ABV: 40% (80 proof)

Age: 12 years old

Distillery: Aberfeldy

Owned by: Bacardi

Category: Highland Single Malt Whisky

Awards: The Scotch Whisky Masters Master 2013, The Scotch Whisky Masters Gold 2014 & 2015, International Spirits Challenge Gold 2020, IWSC Gold 2019, WWA Gold 2014, International Spirits Challenge Silver 2014 & 2019, IWSC Silver 2013 & 2014 & 2017, San Francisco World Spirits Competition Silver 2013.

Chill Filtered: Yes

Natural Colour: No


Enjoyed neat in a Copita, at the Whisky in Leiden festival. It was the fifth dram I tasted, but the pours were small. In other words, I was still able to judge the whisky objectively.


It has a very light and delicate nose. There’s some moss and it immediately brought a small pond to mind. There’s also some grassy notes. It reminded me of catching frogs as a child, only the frogs themselves were missing from the nose of this dram.


On the palate I get melon, white pepper and tree bark. Not as delicate as the nose and not a lot of complexity here.


The finish was short, very short. Some of the melon and pepper from the palate lingered but they faded away quite fast. The whisky didn’t really develop any new notes in the finish either.


Maybe it’s the ABV, or perhaps the chill filtration and E150? I have no idea but it was a very unspectacular dram. It’s decent enough for sipping and it might be an option to order in a bar if it’s the only thing on offer, but that’s about it. I’m glad I was never convinced to buy a bottle, and I won’t be on the lookout for discounts for this one either. It’s not an expensive dram (roughly 35 euro around here) but even at that price there’s much better to be had (Talisker 10 for example). How it ever won so many awards is a mystery to me, but I guess it just shows that what’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander.





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